ACL compiles a daily media monitoring service of stories of interest to the Christian constituency relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. Visit the ACL’s website each day to see what’s of interest in the news. Please note that selection of the articles does not represent ACL endorsement of the content.




Doctors 'should have the right to kill unwanted or disabled babies at birth as they are not a real person' claims Oxford academic

Fional Macrae - UK Daily Mail

Francesca Minerva, says doctors should have the right to kill newborn babies because they are disabled, too expensive or simply unwanted by their mothers. Doctors should have the right to kill newborn babies because they are disabled, too expensive or simply unwanted by their mothers, an academic with links to Oxford University has claimed. Francesca Minerva, a philosopher and medical ethicist, argues a young baby is not a real person and so killing it in the first days after birth is little different to aborting it in the womb. Even a healthy baby could have its life snuffed out if the mother decides she can’t afford to look after it, the article published by the British Medical Journal group states.

On lawfully killing small babies

Andrew Bolt – Herald Sun

It is frightening, and I really mean frightening, that making lawful the murder of newborn babies is now openly recommended by professional “ethicists”:

Killing babies after birth is the shocking new frontier in abortion debate

ACL Media Release

It is hard to fault their logic. While abortion on demand is practiced and paid for by all of us through Medicare and accepted by the populace, why not allow it after birth? As the slippery slope gets slipperier, they don’t specify where they would draw the line.

Children & Family

US: Let’s have a baby?

Mark Driscoll - Washington Post

Most little girls I know don’t have a dream of someday settling down to have babies on their own with the dad either out of the picture-or so hopelessly immature that he should be. Yet, this is the new, dismal solo-parent reality for many women under 30 today, according to new statistics. According to a recent study by Child Trends nearly three-fifths of children born to women under the age of 30 are born outside of marriage, and nearly half of them are born to co-habitating couples.

Nicola Roxon vows to fix Family Court de facto bungle

Nicola Berkovic - The Australian

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has vowed to fix before the end of the month a government bungle that has cast doubt on all Family Court decisions affecting the financial affairs of de facto couples. But family lawyers said the promise was too vague and too late to help some clients who had been forced to incur unnecessary legal costs because of the government's mistake. The government passed legislation in 2009 that should have given the Family and Federal Magistrates courts the power to deal with property and maintenance disputes between de facto couples.


Landmark report calls for one-stop classification

Bianca Hall - SMH

All media in Australia should be classified, and censored, in the same way, a landmark report handed down today has found. Conducting the first review of Australia's classification laws in 20 years, the Australian Law Reform Commission found that the rapid rise of new forms of media had overtaken existing classification laws. It said the Classification Act could be described as "an analogue piece of legislation in a digital world", with an increasing blurring between websites, blogs and video content.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Surrogacy gone wild: British woman keeps giving babies away

Bonnie Rochman - Health Land Time

Pregnancy taxes a woman’s body, so you really have to wonder about the motivation behind Jill Hawkins’ desire to keep signing up for surrogate duty. Hawkins, 47, is pregnant with her ninth and tenth surrogate babies, twins she’s expected to deliver shortly before she turns 48. The British resident is that country’s most prolific surrogate. What’s just as notable is that the legal secretary is single and has no children of her own. ‘I’m a naturally giving person and to be able to give babies away is what I do,” she told the Daily Mail.

Drugs & Alcohol

Had a gutful: Ballarat man faces death in Bali

Karlis Salna - The Age

A Victorian man could face the death penalty after he was allegedly caught smuggling a large quantity of drugs, believed to be methamphetamine, at Bali's international airport. The 54-year-old from Ballarat, identified as Edward Myatt, was detained by Indonesian authorities on Tuesday. Authorities said he was allegedly carrying a large quantity of drugs concealed on his body in up to 70 capsules, and that he had swallowed a number of the capsules.

Drugs seized in Rebels bikie raids

Nicole Cox - PerthNow

Police stormed the homes of a Rebels bikie nominee and two associates in dawn raids today, allegedly uncovering two sophisticated hydroponic cannabis growing set-ups and illicit drugs. Gang Crime Squad officers this morning searched three properties in Quinns Rocks, Clarkson and Alexander Heights. Police will allege that 14 mature cannabis plants were found at the Clarkson house. While in Alexander Heights officers said a hydroponic system had been set up to bypass the property's electrical system to avoid detection through the over-consumption of power. Synergy was called in to disconnect the electricity, due to safety concerns.

Drugs seized en route to Mardi Gras


Sydney police have seized at least $100,000 worth of drugs they say would have been distributed at this weekend's Mardi Gras parade. The drugs include cannabis and cocaine, and four men have been arrested and charged after searches in Leichhardt, Surry Hills, Paddington and Bondi.

In one search warrant at a Paddington business, police allegedly found 10 ounces of cocaine as well as $100,000 in cash.


Religious education 'discriminatory' tribunal told

James Bennett - ABC

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has been told the State Education Department is discriminating against children whose parents do not want them taught religious education. Sophie Aitken and two other parents claim the Department's policy is discriminatory because it separates their children out during religious education classes and denies them the opportunity to be taught secular subjects.


NSW agrees to new protocol on coal seam gas exploration

Phillip Coorey - SMH

Coal seam gas exploration in NSW will face a new approval hurdle with the state government poised to sign up to new protocols being requested by the federal government. The Herald understands that following a request last year from Canberra, the O'Farrell government will sign the agreement, which will require projects to undergo greater environmental scrutiny before being approved.


Dutch launch mobile euthanasia teams


Six specialised teams will criss-cross the Netherlands to carry out euthanasia at the home of patients whose own doctors refuse to do so, a pro-euthanasia group said. "From Thursday, the Levenseindekliniek (Life-end clinic) will have mobile teams where people who think they comply with the criteria for euthanasia can register," Right-to-die NL (NVVE) spokeswoman Walburg de Jong said. "If they comply, the teams will carry out the euthanasia at patients' homes should their normal doctors refuse to help them."

MP in voluntary death push bid

Daniel Wills - The Advertiser

Independent MP Bob Such has revived his push to legalise voluntary euthanasia in South Australia. He delivered legislation to Parliament that will apply to people who are terminally ill and suffering unbearable pain. Parliament was shut down over the summer break, meaning several euthanasia proposals were abandoned.


Diabetes drug breakthrough hope for Indigenous

Gail Liston - ABC

A new drug for diabetics is expected to improve the treatment of high levels of chronic kidney disease in Indigenous communities. Professor Mark Cooper from Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Research says Indigenous people in Central Australia have a particularly high incidence of type-2 diabetes complicated by kidney disease.


UK: Resurgence of marriage: After an official report showed married couples are happiest, wedding are on the increase

Steve Doughty - UK Daily Mail

After 40 years of decline, the number of weddings has risen by 3.7 per cent in a year. Analysts believe the recession has caused a return to family values and a desire for the stability marriage offers. Data released by the Office of National Statistics showed there were 241,100 weddings in England and Wales in 2010, the most recent year for which figures are available.


New knives being sharpened against PM

Simon Benson - The Daily Telegraph

Prime Minister Julia Gillard faces a revolt from the powerful NSW Right over her bungled attempt to recruit Bob Carr to Canberra and moves to dump senior ministers from Cabinet. NSW MPs will also fight an attempt by Ms Gillard to strip the NSW faction of the Government Whip's position and give it to the Victorian Left. Only days after a leadership victory over Kevin Rudd, the Prime Minister faces new and bitter divisions.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Man guilty of raping sex worker

Louis Andrews - The Canberra Times

A Melbourne man has been found guilty of raping a Thai sex worker at an inner-north flat linked to the sex trade. An ACT Supreme Court jury found Robert Phillip Dick guilty this afternoon on two counts of having sexual intercourse without consent and one charge of committing an act of indecency.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Syria: The next exodus of Christians?

John Pontifex - ACN News

A senior bishop in Syria has warned that Christianity in his country may suffer the same terrible fate as in neighbouring Iraq. Speaking from northern Syria, the bishop, who asked not to be named for security reasons, said that “his most important” concern as a Christian leader was the danger of a mass exodus of faithful as happened in Iraq after 2003 following the fall of Saddam Hussein. The bishop’s comments, made recently , come amid widespread fears that Christians will be among the worst to suffer if Assad falls and power is seized by Islamist rebel groups. Meantime, some Church organisations have reported from centres of conflict, such as Homs, that up to 80 percent of Christians have fled in part as a result of an upsurge in religiously-motivated violence.

Religious education 'discriminatory' tribunal told

James Bennett - ABC

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has been told the State Education Department is discriminating against children whose parents do not want them taught religious education. Sophie Aitken and two other parents claim the Department's policy is discriminatory because it separates their children out during religious education classes and denies them the opportunity to be taught secular subjects.

Sexualisation of Society

MPs speak against the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood

Melinda Tankard Reist

Earlier this month Federal Member for Kingston (S.A), Amanda Rishworth, moved a Private Members Motion acknowledging the findings of the UK Government’s review Letting the Children be Children on the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. It is heartening for those of us involved in this issue to see MP’s like Rishworth take the lead on speaking out in Parliament and recognising the harm of sexualizing children. Rishworth urged governments, industries, regulators and the wider community to act.


Can barriers prevent suicide or do they just shift the problem?

Jo Robinson - The Conversation

There has been widespread media coverage over over the past ten days about the tragic deaths of a man and his son at the Story Bridge in Brisbane. The Brisbane Council was quick to announce it would fund suicide-prevention signs and telephones at the site, but the Council has refused to install safety barriers that could prevent further deaths from the bridge. Brisbane’s Deputy Mayor, Adrian Schrinner, questioned the value of physical barriers at what have become known as suicide “hotspots”, saying they would simply “shift the problem” to other sites.

Lesbian health crisis

Star Observer

Former Australian Medical Association head Professor Kerryn Phelps says Australia’s health system is failing to address the health needs of same-sex attracted women. Phelps’ comments follow the release of alarming new figures showing lesbian and bisexual women have far worse health outcomes than their heterosexual counterparts.